|Mary J. Blige in April’s Ebony magazine|
By Ta-ning Connai
No one masters the art of the comeback quite like Mary J. Blige. The woman who inspired the phrase Ghetto Fabulous has yet again risen from the ashes to live her best life ever in spite of the many burdens she’s had to bear. Her most recent achievement is a soulful rendition of the 1976 Elton John classic, ‘Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word.’ Released on April 6 as a single from John’s star-studded tribute album Revamp, you best believe the R&B songstress gives it everything she’s got.
If we learn nothing more from the diva who has survived domestic
violence, drug abuse, betrayal, disappointment and loss of every kind,
we should at least learn this…brokenness can either break you OR it
can make you better. And based on her continuous whirlwind of
miraculous restoration, better she most certainly is!
Just days after settling her painful divorce, the Queen of Hip Hop Soul stood victorious on the Academy Awards stage as she wrapped her signature rasp around the song Mighty River. Both the song and her role in the Netflix film Mudbound garnered her two Oscar nods and a place in Hollywood history, and it was her real life brokenness she candidly credits as making her performance even better.
Just shy of three weeks later, Sherlock Gnomes was released in theaters, and the world got to hear an animated character maintain her strength by shaking off the dust from an old shabby relationship that ended up not working out. Mary J was quick to point out during an interview that being the voice of the spiffy female gnome and singing the sassy, relationship clapback song helped her to, not only feel personally empowered, but to get past her broken heart. In other words, she was gradually going from being broken to being BETTER THAN BEFORE.
When God allows us to be broken (notice I said He allows it, He does
not cause it), we are going through His painstaking process of being
“broken in.” Usually when we hear that term, we have a tendency to
automatically think “worn out,” “used up,” or “no longer new.” But if we
were to shift our perspective to see things from God’s heavenly view,
we’d realize it actually denotes the exact opposite…BETTER THAN
Have you ever bought a new pair of shoes that needed to be broken in? They hurt so bad, you wished you could pay someone else to go through it! But you took it like a champ until finally one day you could actually walk without tears in your eyes. The shoes were so fly though, you swore it was worth the pain!
That buttery leather jacket you couldn’t wait to bring home is made of the most luscious cowhide on the planet. You turn up in it every once in a while, but you really wasn’t fully slayed until it was completely broken in.
That good old fashioned recliner chair, never felt reclineable right off the bat. You let the whole family and the big pet dog take it for a spin, until it was broken in. Now that chair has YOUR name on it and there’s a price to pay for any butt that touches it from here on in.
I’ve even heard it said that a better grip on the football could more likely win the game if the football is broken in.
So, here’s the good news my friend…You too can go from broken to broken in to BETTER THAN BEFORE.
“The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.” (Psalms 34:18)
He’s the Master Craftsman with the power to heal us, transform us and make us brand new. He will take all your shattered pieces and create the MASTERPIECE He intended since the day you were born. Now that was a good day, but your tomorrows are even BETTER!
What challenging situation made you better than before?